Today in show business news: Showtime renews one of its most popular series, Comedy Central's new late night show has a successful debut, and American Horror Story is bigger than ever.
Though people are a little down on this season, even after Sunday night's craaaazy twist, the ratings for Homeland are still pretty good, so Showtime has decided to go ahead and renew it for a fourth season. When broadcast, On Demand, and DVR numbers are all put together, about 6.5 million people watch each episode of the show, which is pretty good. And Showtime needs those eyeballs now that top-performer Dexter is dead and buried. (Or lumberjacking in Alaska, whatever.) The network has also renewed Masters of Sex for a second season, a vote of confidence for a rare Showtime drama that isn't at least to some extent about people murdering each other. I mean, they're f--king each other's brains out, but that's just an expression. [Entertainment Weekly]
Comedy Central's new Chris Hardwick late night show, which is called @midnight because that will in no way seem completely dated in a few years, debuted last night to pretty good ratings, especially with, as Deadline puts it in its headline, the "Target Young Guy Crowd." Which, calm down, Kevin Spacey, just means the same farty, college-guy audience that watches Tosh.0 and The Jeselnik Offensive and all those other Comedy Central shows. That same demographic tuned into watch Hardwick's debut in force. More guys 18-24 watched @midnight than did The Colbert Reporter in the slot right before. So that should please the particular advertisers being courted here, which are probably, I dunno, some cars, the Axe corporation, maybe Dos Equis. Well done, Hardwick! Everyone's almost forgotten about Singled Out. That's coming any day now, I'd think. [Deadline]
Staying on the ratings beat, the third season of American Horror Story is shaping up to be quite a hit for FX. In the all-important 18-34 demographic, the new season's second episode bested a network record set by Sons of Anarchy. While Anarchy still reigns overall, AHS had 7.26 million people tune in or watch its latest episode On Demand and DVR (within three days of broadcast), which puts it pretty close to the top of the heap. Makes sense. It's a good, Halloween-y time of year for the show, this season has a really interesting cast and premise, and these shows grow in word-of-mouth momentum now that people can play catch-up in the off-season. Will the fourth season thus be even BIGGER? Well, I suppose that depends on the theme. Obviously Ryan Murphy is now thinking of doing something spooky/sexy about a "Target Young Guy Crowd," but that might not have the broadest appeal. Might have to put that one on the back burner, Ryan. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Remember Libby from Lost? Poor, prematurely doomed Libby? Well, she was played by an actress named Cynthia Watros, and now Cynthia Watros has a new job! She'll costar in a new MTV, yes MTV, pilot called Finding Carter. The show actually has a pretty interesting premise. From Deadline:
It centers on teenage Carter, who has the perfect life with her fun-loving single mom Lori until a police bust reveals that Lori abducted her as a toddler. Now Carter must return to the family who thought they had lost her, including her biological mother Elizabeth (Watros), a tough police detective who was devastated by the disappearance of her daughter and will stop at nothing to catch her kidnapper. As she navigates brand-new parents, a twin sister, high school and boys, Carter vows to find Lori before the police capture the only mom she’s ever known and put her behind bars.
That sounds kind of cool, right? I don't know if it's exactly in line with MTV's current stable of shows — it might involve grownups too much — but if the network picks it up, I'll be eager to watch. Plus it's just nice that Libby has a job after Lindelof and Cuse did her dirty like that all those years ago. Karma didn't forget you, Libby. It was just waiting for the right time. [Deadline]
Here, for no particular reason other than that it is strange, is Sean Penn giving a seven-minute speech before presenting Julia Roberts with an award — a Best Supporting Actress award for August: Osage County. Seven minutes! Mostly he talks about how much he likes to watch her eat on screen. He also calls her "prismed rainbow lightning" and mentions that they are neighbors. Oh Sean Penn. Oh hugely over-indulgent, self-important speeches about Hollywood actors. Why are they so good? I don't know, but they are. So here's one.